Google introduces new programs for African innovation and women entrepreneurs

By Mia Thompson, June 23, 2021

Google Africa

Allocating $3 million to support disadvantaged communities

(Sunday Vision) — Google has renewed its commitment to growing the startup ecosystem in Africa with the Google for Startups Accelerator (GFSA) Africa category, apps from the $3 million Black Founders Fund (BFF) for Africa, and a $3 million grant supported by Google. org by Tony Elumelu. Foundation (TEF).

This initiative aims to empower young entrepreneurs in 54 African countries, with a particular focus on supporting women entrepreneurs on the continent.

The three-month online program, which includes virtual boot camps, tutoring and support for Google products, is designed to support startups during the early stages of their growth.

To further support innovation on the continent, the $3 million Google for Startups Black Founders Fund will be unveiled as part of Google’s global commitment to support underserved communities.

Google said the fund, which is part of its commitment to racial equality announced in June 2020, will provide cash prizes and business support to 50 black startups in Africa, and unlike most startup investments, the founders are not obligated to give up any co-funding. . . .

Google will work with the Co-Creation Hub, Google for Startups partner and leading technology community hub in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda, to distribute the money to select companies in Africa.

He explained that applications are already open for funding, as well as technical and commercial support for 50 startups across the continent this year.

BFF Africa is open to all startups in Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe that meet the eligibility criteria, he said, adding that applications will meet the eligibility criteria. Eligibility criteria. Expires on July 7, 2021.

Commenting on this, Co-Creation Hub Co-Founder and CEO Bosun Tijani said: “It is encouraging to see Google’s continued commitment to strengthening and upgrading the startup ecosystem in Africa. Google is one of the first sponsors of tech entrepreneurs on the continent. This reflected their commitment in the past ten years.

Nitin Jagria, General Manager, Google Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Google recognizes that the success of one player in the startup space can pave the way for others and this drives a commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and startups and effectively growing business opportunities.

“It will also enable social and economic development on the continent, and we are determined to help black founders grow their businesses, not only through access to capital, but also through access to Google’s best resources.”

In addition, the $3 million Google.org grant from TEF will be used to provide entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and coaching to approximately 5,000 rural women with low digital skills, currently working in the informal sector.

On her part, TEF Executive Director Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu said: “As a leading charitable organization in Africa that empowers young African entrepreneurs, the scholarship will provide financial and technical support for additional women’s businesses and marginalized groups in the informal sector through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

 

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